Whisky Connosr

Caol Ila Distillery Exclusive 2017

Potatoes & Strawberries

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

25th Dec 2017


Caol Ila Distillery Exclusive 2017
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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When I visited the Caol Ila Distillery in September 2017, the new Distillery Exclusive was poured. It is the first time that Caol Ila used whisky that has matured on red wine casks. ‘Wanna try?’ the visitor center manager asked. ‘Is that a trick question?’ was my reply. And yes, after trying this one, a bottle disappeared into the hand luggage. This one is very, very good indeed! Iodine, seaweeds, oyster sap, wet earth… all of these precede roast beef and rhubarb on this atypical but outstanding nose. It is surprisingly umami with a mildly sour touch as if from nettles, raw potatoes and red berries. But it works wonderfully!

On the palate, this is a bomb with more of the classic Caol Ila traits – loads of ashes, by the way – but again something atypical shines through and is quite charming in fact. The roast beef moves over for more red fruit like raspberries and even strawberries. The whole is wrapped in a mildly smoky jacket. The peat supports, but does not dominate.

Medium long finish – that shows a lot of smoke and ashes – again emphasizes the sweet side of this Caol Ila.

Hurray! An atypical, but very tasty Caol Ila.

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